MATCH REPORT: Saints win to set up season finale

Heckmondwike Saints won round 5 of the Yorkshire League after another entertaining encounter at the Saints Firth Park track. Heckmondwike finished with 58 points, ahead of Hull (55) and Sheffield (43). The win comes after the Saints won round 4 at Sheffield and sets up the season finale at Hull’s Hessle Raceway next Wednesday, both Heckmondwike and Hull are tied in first place with 11.5 points.
Hull started with a maximum 7-3 over Heckmondwike in the first race, Jack Lister having to battle his way past Thomas Kent and Justin Naylor (the early evening rain having dampened the circuit to provide excellent racing). Nathan Everett fell in heat two, as he tried to split the Sheffield pairing of Luke Morton and Kielan Burton. With Kyle Holland shepherding Thomas Kent to second place in heat 4 and then Sheffield gaining a 6-4 over Hull in heat 5. The scores stood at Hull 21, Heckmondwike 20 and Sheffield 19 after each team had ridden four races. Hull surged ahead with a 6-4 from Nathan Everett and David Cooper (over Adam Watson and Darren Kent, who fell on the first bend) followed by a 7-3 from Frank Auffret and Jack Lister over Sheffield’s Laura Watson and Niamh Morton. The Adam Watson/Darren Kent pairing hit two further maximum scores in heats 10 and 12 to put Heckmondwike on 43 after the team racing. Hull were leading on 44, with Nathan Everett and David Cooper gaining the maximum seven score in heat 11.
Crucially for the individual races Heckmondwike would start from grids two, with Hull (leaders after the team racing) on grid three. The Sheffield Stars on grids one due to being in last place would play their part in the final proceedings. Niamh Morton won heat 13, while Thomas Kent kept Frank Auffret at bay (and ruined his maximum) to level the scores between Heckmondwike and Hull. Luke Morton led heat 14, before being passed by Kyle Holland and then David Cooper. The Saints now edged in front by one. Darren Kent made the lead a two point advantage after defeating Jack Lister in heat 15, Laura Watson having played her part after leading from the start. Laura led Jack for two laps, which gave Darren time to build up an unassailable lead. For the second match running the final placings would be decided in the top scorers race. Adam Watson made his best start of the night to squeeze out Kielan Burton on the first bend. Nathan Everett came around Kielan and then spent four laps trying to find a way past Adam. Adam though knows this track, having spent four seasons on loan from Sheffield, and held on for the win.

The winning Heckmondwike Saints team. L-R: Kyle Holland,  Justin Naylor,  Thomas Kent,  Darren Kent,  Adam Watson


Heckmondwike Saints – Thomas Kent 9, Justin Naylor 2, Adam Watson 16+3, Darren Kent 17, Kyle Holland 14+1.

Hull – Jack Lister 14+2, Frank Auffret 10, Nathan Everett 15+1, David Cooper 14, Terry Kirkup 2.

Sheffield Stars – Laura Watson 10+2, Niamh Morton 10, Luke Morton 9+2, Kielan Burton 14.

League placings

Hull 11.5 (278), Heckmondwike Saints 11.5 (268), Sheffield Stars 7 (234).

Final round is at Hull’s Hessle Raceway on Wednesday 24th July, 7.30pm start.